In Your Yard

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BWL Sues EL Homeowner Behind Tree-Defense Yard Sign Campaign

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Image: Richard Crittenden outside his home with one of the yard signs he had produced

The Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) has filed a lawsuit against the East Lansing homeowner who initiated a yard sign campaign to push back against what that homeowner called an overly aggressive “vegetation management” campaign by the electric utility.

DIGGING IN: Garlic Harvest Approaches

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Garlic, Allium sativum, is a bulbous plant easily grown in East Lansing gardens and common at the farmer stalls at the East Lansing Farmers Market in the spring and early summer. While the whole plant is edible, most people eat the mature bulb, which is formed from 6-10 cloves divided by a papery skin. In the next few weeks, garlic bulbs should be ready for harvest.

DIGGING IN: Rain Gardens

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rain garden located outside of Mid-MEAC, Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council, located in East Lansing off Grove Street.


DIGGING IN: Purslane—to Harvest or to Weed?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Image: mature purslane, photo courtesy of Oregon State University

Several years ago, I returned to East Lansing in mid-July from a week-long vacation and found innumerable purslane plants that had grown considerably among our staked tomato plants. I recognized the plant from the edges of sidewalks in town and paths on the MSU campus but had not paid much attention to it.

ELi ON EARTH: It's Snowing Cotton

Monday, June 8, 2015

After the most recent rain, the cottonwoods of East Lansing have begun releasing their cottony seeds. The eastern cottonwood, Populus deltoides, is a huge hardwood tree native to the eastern U.S. and common in damp areas and the banks of rivers and streams of Michigan. A young tree can grow more than six feet a year and a 150-foot-tall, mature tree can develop a vase-shaped crown 75 feet across.

ELi ON EARTH: Springtime Is for the Birds

Monday, June 1, 2015

Above: Canada Geese adults and goslings yesterday on the MSU campus near the Red Cedar River

Spring is a time of graduation and, over the last several weeks, the young of East Lansing, outfitted in their youthful finery, have been trying out their wings and leaving the nest. Fledging and immaturity are risky times for young birds, as for all young animals. Sharp-eyed East Lansing residents may come upon young birds in the community this time of year as they try out their new environments.

DIGGING IN: Community Gardening in Glencairn Grows Food and Friendship

Thursday, May 28, 2015

In the spring of 2013, Glencairn neighborhood resident Beth Prince had to remove some dying pine trees from her yard. The result was a wide open expanse of sun, a hot (no pun intended) commodity in Glencairn. While being known for mature trees that tower over the historical homes, many areas of the neighborhood are subject to omnipresent shade. In fact, instead of lush, manicured lawns, many homes utilize shade gardens and ground cover plants to complement their perennial gardens.

DIGGING IN: To Till Or Not To Till

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Image: A butternut squash seedling planted in the “no till” mode in the author’s garden; the glass jar, the bottom of which has been cut off, is used to protect the plant from frost and nibblers.

Editor’s note: The full title of this piece is “A Dialogue Concerning Two Chief Tilling Systems, or, To Till or Not to Till—That Is the Question.” (If you don’t get the reference, click here.)

DIGGING IN: Rain Barrels

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It’s hard to imagine that your yard may be bone-dry in just a few weeks, but during the hot summer months it is likely that you will need to water it.

An easy, economical and green way to capture water now and store it for the future use is via rain barrel. Collecting rainwater for use during dry months is actually an ancient practice, dating back as far as 2,000 years ago.

East Lansing Sexual Education: Get Smart about Conifers

Monday, May 11, 2015

Above: Photo of a Norway Spruce in East Lansing, showing many small, tan male cones (staminate cones) as well as a single, large, pink, and receptive female cone called an ovulate cone

Today we bring you a very special ELi on Earth . . .

DIGGING IN: Cooking with Dandelions

Thursday, May 7, 2015

As a lover of vegetable gardening, I look forward each spring to the first “meals from the garden.” Even with our jerry-rigged greenhouse of three old storm windows laid across a repurposed sandbox, the lettuces, spinach, and arugula planted a month ago aren’t yet anywhere near ready to pick this early in the spring.

BWL Changes EL Tree Trimming Schedule

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Image: BWL trimmer truck at Hannah Plaza earlier today

At last week's meeting of the Glencairn Neighborhood Association, Lansing Board of Water and Light’s (BWL’s) Manager of Community Services Bob Perialas informed those present that BWL has changed its tree-trimming schedule for East Lansing. A follow-up email exchange with Perialas confirmed that “East Lansing Trimming has been pushed back to 2016 and 2017.”

ASK ELi: Chance of Frost?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Above: The author now has seedlings under glass and also exposed in his East Lansing backyard

A gardening reader asks: What is the chance of a frost yet this spring in East Lansing?

ASK ELi: Yard Waste

Friday, April 3, 2015

Yard waste collection will begin on Monday, April 6, so this week we bring you answers to common and environmentally-oriented questions about yard waste.

What counts as yard waste? According to the City, “Yard waste includes leaves, plant materials, grass clippings and brush/limbs.”

How does it have to be packaged for pick-up? There are three ways to package your yard-waste for pick-up:

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